Thursday, January 14, 2010

I got -16 on a Georgia Straight comment I made earlier today

Okay, I want to address a common problem with participatory art practices. On the one hand, if an artist would like to really get a cross section of participants, s/he pretty much has to leave the academy behind, otherwise, through the use of critical and intimidating language, that artist may find s/he has inadvertently cut her/his audience and is now preaching to the converted. On the other hand, an artist can build a project that asks certain questions, while proposing that project with neutralized language. Everyone will inevitably make their own meaning in the end, but what that meaning is, will only reveal itself in the moment of engagement.

By no means am I saying that an artist, or a person in general, can't be critical. I firmly believe that critical people are the most positive people on the planet because they are hopeful for a better situation. They are intent on improving the status quo.

What the IOC and VANOC are asking the viewer to do is to experience the games and celebratory events in a very particular way. One that maintains the "official" visual packaging of the Olympics and Vancouver as a city.

What I am asking viewers to do is to consider what aspects of the games and celebratory events they think is important to engage with, and to present for others to see. My projection will be unedited, excepting things considered offensive, and I get to decide what is considered offensive, the clips will remain exactly as they are sent to me. So that takes care of the viewers of the games, now there are the viewers on Cordova Street, the people who are watching what the viewers attending the games are watching. Then there are the viewers inside the Jeffrey Boone Gallery who are watching, through surveillance, the viewers on Cordova Street, watching souveillence from the viewers at the Olympics watching the Olympics.

So, while I'd like to conclude that the negative ratings came from angry little f**ks who didn't take the time to read about my project, I am left wondering: Are my expectations too idealistic? And what are the limitations of participatory practice anyway.

Here is the link of the article that I responded to, with all the ensuing comments.

Okay, I realize that the above is not a real link, but again, Blogspot is letting me down...

p.s. I had some trouble uploading my video on the last post, so either you saw a video that didn't match my clever description, or you didn't find one at all. For my lack of technical finesse, I apologize. I find it extremely hysterical that I insist on using technology in so many of my projects, hopefully you will too.


  1. Anonymous12:31 AM

    I think that you attracted a lot of negative hits from people associated with / hired by the organizers facilitators of the Olys. (IOC,VPD, VANOC etc)

    I can't imagine many ordinary people feeling that strongly about documentation.

    Keep it up, interesting and worthwhile project.

  2. Thanks so much for your encouragement, comments like these keep me going :-)